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Symp group photo 2008

The rise of China, India, Japan, Korea, and other Asian nations presents a challenge and an opportunity for the U.S. Stony Brook University is taking the lead in preparing the next generation of teachers to help Americans learn and use Asian languages.

On April 8th, the department hosted a symposium, “Asian Languages and the Professions” to highlight the importance of learning Asian languages, their use in various professions, professional development of teachers, and career opportunities in fields related to Asian languages. Welcoming the participants, President Shirley Strum Kenny, Provost Eric Kaler, and Dean James V. Staros (College of Arts and Sciences), emphasized the importance of learning Asian languages as foreign and heritage languages and the timeliness of the symposium when globalization has sparked a tremendous growth in the interest in the learning of Asian languages in secondary school and college levels. They also remarked on the appropriateness of organizing it at Stony Brook University, as the most diverse research university east of Mississippi, or possibly east of California. In an interactive session, a national authority of foreign language education, Professor Scott McGinnis, Academic Advisor at Defense Language Institute, Washington, D.C., discussed national initiatives on Asian language education. Other speakers and panelists included Ambassador Harsh Bhasin and experts in various professions, including health care, business, education, international relations, translation, and social welfare. A free-wheeling Roundtable on the state and needs of Asian languages teaching on Long Island revealed an enormous interest in this area. The symposium was attended in very large numbers by school administrators and Asian language teachers on Long Island and in New York City as well as by Stony Brook’s faculty and students.

Organizing committee: Agnes He, Dorit Kaufman, Eriko Sato, Kamal K. Sridhar, Darlene Prowse, Heejeong Sohn, S.N. Sridhar (Chair), and Ximena Zate

Symp panel

Sponsored by:

  • Department of Asian and Asian American Studies through a U.S. Department of Education (Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program) grant
  • The Center for India Studies
  • Professional Education Program
  • Japan Center at Stony Brook
  • China Studies Program
  • Center for Korean Studies
  • School of Business
  • School of Social Welfare
  • The Career Center

Keynote Speakers:

  • Ambassador Harsh Bhasin, Visiting Professor, Dept. of AAAS

  • Dr. Scott McGinnis, Academic Advisor and Professor, Defense Language Institute, Washington, D.C.


  • Ms. Judy Ng, Team Leader, Learning and Development Division, HSBC Bank, USA
  • Ms. Pat Lo, Director of Asian Languages Bilingual/ESL Technical Assistance Center (ALBETAC), New York University
  • Dr. Srinivas Pentyala, Director of Translational Research, Dept. of Anesthesiology, Stony Brook University Medical Center
  • Dr. Rose Leung, Assistant Professor, School of Social Welfare, Stony Brook University
  • Ms. Natasha Bonilla, Vendor Manager, and Ms. Gladys Galindo, Account Manager, Eriksen Translations, Inc. New York
  • Ms. Andrea Lipack, Associate Director of Employer Relations, Career Center, Stony Brook University


Roundtable Discussion Session

PEP Representative: Ximena E. Zate, Ph. D. Interim Director, TESOL Education Program, Stony Brook University

Participating institutions:

  • Comsewogue Central School District
  • Glen Cove City School District
  • Norwood Elementary School
  • Three Village Central School District
  • (Wantagh Public Schools)  Wings Academy
  • Hunter College (CUNY)
  • Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Queens College (CUNY)
  • Suffolk County Community College
  • The Center for Chinese Learning at Stony Brook

   Symp sign in  Symp gathering  Symp two women

  Symp lit table  Symp audience member

  Symp speaker  Symp roundtable  Symp photo 3

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